“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
I take a long walk nearly every single day.
It is one of the many reasons I was able to lose 40(ish) pounds, but I don’t do it only for the health benefits. I also do it for my mind. The walk allows me to get away from the spreadsheets and Zoom meetings, work on solving problems that seem unsolvable, and helps me generate ideas and breakthroughs, for both my personal and professional life. It helps my mental state as much as — if not more — than it helps my physical state.
Of course, there are side effects to everything and my daily stroll is no different.
Depending on what direction I take, I can pass three different country clubs, all of them private and none of which I can even fantasize about joining. When I walk by them, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness and disappointment. As I amble along, looking at their perfectly manicured courses, tennis courts, refreshing pools, and utopic appearances, I can only feel like I’ve done something wrong in my life because I’ll never be invited inside.
In reality, I have so much but yet my natural inclination is to focus on what all that I don’t have.
That’s the power of perspective. Every coin has two sides.
We can afford to own a home within walking distance of those country clubs…but I’ll never be a member. We have a gorgeous yard that others have told me they envy…but not a pool. We have a home with enough space for a home office for me and a craft lab for my wife…but no master bedroom. We are very involved parents and we have dinner as a family every night…but no date nights.
There is always the desire for more.
The living room needs to be renovated. The exterior of the house needs a new coat of paint. I’d love not to have to share a bathroom with the kids. We are more fortunate than most, but it’s so easy to focus on the small gaps that remain.
If you were to ask me if the glass is half-full or half-empty, my answer would be that it’s half-full but that it should be overflowing.
Nietzsche said, “There are no facts, only interpretations,” and the fact is that, were I to allow it, my interpretation could convince me that I have very little when the opposite is true.
Instead of asking if the glass is half-full or half-empty, I want to focus on the fact that I’m fortunate enough to have a glass in the first place.
There’s power in realizing that while you may not have everything, you do have enough.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
Christopher Pierznik is the worst-selling author of nine books. Check out more of his writing at Medium. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Please feel free to get in touch at CPierznik99@gmail.com.